IMDb > Is Anybody There? (2008)
Is Anybody There?
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Is Anybody There? (2008) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 8 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Is Anybody There? -- A ten-year-old boy and a retired magician strike up an unlikely friendship which helps them both remember that magic is possible when life is lived to its fullest.
Is Anybody There? -- A drama set in a seaside English town circa 1987, which charts the unlikely friendship that develops between an acerbic old performer and the death-obsessed young son of the home’s overwhelmed owners.


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Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Peter Harness (written by)
View company contact information for Is Anybody There? on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 May 2009 (USA) See more »
Set in 1980s seaside England, this is the story of Edward, an unusual ten year old boy growing up in an old people's home run by his parents... See more » | Full synopsis »
2 nominations See more »
(3 articles)
Caine's New Movie Made Him Cry
 (From WENN. 16 April 2009, 6:30 PM, PDT)

Caine Upsets Wife With New Film
 (From WENN. 6 April 2009, 12:05 AM, PDT)

Caine's New Magic Movie Is A Tribute To Dead Friend
 (From WENN. 1 April 2009, 3:04 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A humble and restrained piece of cinema. See more (40 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
John Crowley 
Writing credits
Peter Harness (written by)

Produced by
Rosie Alison .... co-producer
David Heyman .... producer
Mark Hubbard .... line producer
Christine Langan .... executive producer
Peter Saraf .... producer
David M. Thompson .... executive producer
Marc Turtletaub .... producer
Original Music by
Joby Talbot 
Cinematography by
Rob Hardy 
Film Editing by
Trevor Waite 
Casting by
Fiona Weir 
Production Design by
Kave Quinn 
Art Direction by
Lynne Huitson 
Set Decoration by
Gemma Ryan 
Costume Design by
Jane Petrie 
Makeup Department
Fae Hammond .... hair designer
Fae Hammond .... makeup designer
Belinda Parish .... additional hair stylist
Belinda Parish .... additional makeup artist
Gemma Richards .... hair stylist
Gemma Richards .... makeup artist
Gemma Richardson .... hair stylist: crowd dailies
Gemma Richardson .... makeup artist: crowd dailies
Karen Sherriff-Brown .... hair stylist (as Karen Sheriff-Brown)
Karen Sherriff-Brown .... makeup artist (as Karen Sheriff-Brown)
Production Management
Tania Blunden .... post-production supervisor (as Tania Windsor Blunden)
Alice Dawson .... production manager
Amie Tridgell .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Daniel Jerome Gill .... additional crowd third assistant director (as Daniel Gill)
Heidi Gower .... third assistant director
Martin Harrison .... first assistant director
Chris Stoaling .... second assistant director
Art Department
Lee Biggs .... standby carpenter
Paul Bowring .... construction manager
Keith Connolly .... stand by painter
Garry Dawson .... stand-by props
Kevin Day .... stand-by props
James Enright .... prop making supervisor c/o propshop
Gavin Grant .... props
Douglas Ingram .... storyboard artist
Dean Lee .... trainee props (2008)
Loretta Lipworth .... art department trainee
Chris Lunney .... graphic designer
James Mannell .... props
Steve Register .... property master
Oliver Roberts .... stand-by art director
Dorothy Sullivan .... assistant set decorator
Sound Department
Oliver Brierley .... adr mixer
Alex Fielding .... mix technician
Arthur Graley .... foley editor
Nigel Heath .... sound re-recording mixer
Alex Hudd .... sound consultant: dolby
Dan Morgan .... supervising adr & dialogue editor
Paul Munro .... boom operator
Colin Nicolson .... sound recordist
Marc Sampson .... sound trainee
Julian Slater .... supervising sound editor
Chris Sturmer .... sound consultant: dolby
Jessica Ward .... assistant sound editor
Ross Wissbaum .... adr recordist
Mark Wyllie .... recording & mixing engineer
Nick Foley .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
James Davis III .... special effects senior technician
Hugh Goodbody .... special effects technician
Mark Holt .... special effects supervisor
Chris Reynolds .... senior special effects technician
Visual Effects by
Matthew Bristowe .... digital lab producer: MPC
Kelly Bruce .... compositor
James Cundill .... online editor
Philip Greenlow .... visual effects coordinator
Charley Henley .... visual effects supervisor
Jeremy Hey .... digital compositor
Max Horton .... digital colourist
Michael Illingworth .... visual effects artist
Begoña Lopez .... digital lab producer: MPC
Sona Pak .... visual effects producer
Chris Shaw .... visual effects set supervisor
Giuseppe Tagliavini .... digital compositor: MPC
Pat Wintersgill .... online editor
Nick Chopping .... stunt double
Bradley Farmer .... stunt driver
Camera and Electrical Department
Simon Baker .... Steadicam operator
Richie Donnelly .... first assistant camera
Alan Hall .... first assistant camera
Graham Hall .... camera: b
Daniel Laviada .... grip: dailies
Chloë Thomson .... assistant camera
Roger Tooley .... camera operator: "b" camera/Steadicam
Nick Wall .... unit & specials photographer
Lee Walters .... gaffer
Casting Department
Abigail Barbier .... adr voice casting
Louis Elman .... adr voice casting
Ruth Key .... casting assistant
Alice Searby .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Karen Beale .... costume assistant
Anne T. Delaney .... costume maker
Lucy Donowho .... costume assistant
Rachael Forde .... wardrobe trainee
Poli Kyriacou .... costume buyer
Richard Sale .... assistant costume designer
James Smith .... dresser: Michael Caine (as Jim Smith)
Julie Telfer .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Nina Bradley .... assistant editor
Faye Morgan .... post-production coordinator (as Faye Stevens)
Location Management
Jonah Coombes .... location manager
Dorothee Freytag .... location assistant
Charlotte Wright .... location scout
Josh Yudkin .... assistant location manager
Music Department
Alison Butters .... music clearance
Peter Clarke .... preview music editor
Ben Foster .... orchestrator
Dave Foster .... music preparation
Liz Gallacher .... music supervisor
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestra contractor
Matthew Richard Harris .... composer: additional music
Catherine Manners .... music score coordinator
Wendy Nieper .... piano consultant
Wendy Nieper .... singing consultant
Joby Talbot .... conductor
Joby Talbot .... music arranger
Paul Thomson .... composer: stock music
Mark Wyllie .... recording & mixing engineer
Transportation Department
Steve Hammick .... driver: stand-by prop truck
Other crew
Danielle Bennett .... floor runner
Sam Blackmore .... floor runner
Oliver Butler .... base runner
Michael B. Clark .... assistant to producer
Valentina Coccia .... production coordinator
Paul Dray .... laboratory liaison
Jon Duncan .... production accountant
Scott Eaton .... assistant production coordinator
Adrian Hubbard .... production runner
Diana Lander .... unit nurse
Jill McCullough .... dialect coach
Daniele Tate Melia .... assistant: producer
Sharon Milton .... tutor
Paul Murphy .... assistant accountant
Shailini Vijay Naik .... production assistant
Claire Oakley .... assistant to director
Sylvia Parker .... script supervisor
Scott Penrose .... magic consultant
Benjamin Perkins .... chaperone
Mike Phillips .... head of physical production
James Smith .... personal assistant: Michael Caine (as Jim Smith)
Serena Tona .... runner (as Serena Tona-Wade)
Liam Winn .... runner
Oliver Wiseman .... assistant: David Heyman
Luke Alkin .... special thanks
Jeb Brody .... special thanks
Jacqueline Eckhouse .... special thanks (as Jackie Eckhouse)
Mrs. Ros Garrow .... special thanks
Tricia Newman .... thanks
John Sloss .... special thanks
Elizabeth Spriggs .... in memory of
Sacha Wares .... extra special thanks
Jane Wright .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Is There Anybody There?" - Canada (English title) (festival title)
See more »
Rated PG-13 for language including sexual references, and some disturbing images
94 min
Color (DeLuxe)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Canada:PG (British Columbia/Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Ireland:12A | Singapore:PG | UK:12A | USA:PG-13
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Leslie Phillips spoke out against this film after is was released, as he said it had been completely changed from the story he and the other elderly actors were making about an old people's home, in order to concentrate on the relationship between Michael Caine and the boy.See more »
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Some think the father's mustache at the party is a continuity error as he shaved it off that morning. However, it is a fancy dress party and the father is clearly wearing a fake mustache to go with his costume.See more »
Lilian:Canada's a country, and my big God-bothering girl Mavis is coming from there to see me, today. With her husband who's got a plate in her head. Of course she's not a girl now, little man. She's 66 years old.
Edward:I'm eleven.
Lilian:Well, she's 6 times better than you, isn't she?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Arthur C Clarke's Strange WorldSee more »


Is "Is Anybody There?" based on a novel?
See more »
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
A humble and restrained piece of cinema., 3 November 2009
Author: Jamie Ward from United Kingdom

The magician is a curious fellow; he spends his days and nights ceaselessly going over his tricks and illusions, making sure all creases and seams are hidden from view so that he may able to dispel reality, if only for a few moments. For those on the other side of the fence, the magician can be seen either as a craftsman dedicated to his art, or as something of a ray of light that hints at something else; something more than the dirt in the ground and the worms at our feet. Yet, for all the glimmers of hope and magic that the illusionist creates in the wake of his act however, there is that ever-looming cloud of certainty that plagues his own reality—standing behind the curtain, the magician is aware of the wires, the trap doors and the contraptions set up to make the mundane seem a little more fantastic; to the man with the rabbit in his hat, the world is a playground where one can briefly create an imaginary world where magic lives, but unlike those that he tricks, the magic never truly lives on once that curtain falls.

Somewhere in the audience is a young, bright-eyed boy—his name is Edward (Bill Milner) and he lives in an old-folk's home with his mother (Anne-Marie Duff) and father (David Morrissey) where death is just as common as a hot meal. Rather than believing in the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause, Edward instead has a genuine infatuation with the afterlife, making sure never to miss an episode of Arthur C. Clarke's ghost hunt programme on terrestrial TV rather than play with LEGO; that is, until one day when a new resident takes up a place beside him and switches the channel over. The new guy is a man riddled with regret and cantankerous spite, his name Clarence (Michael Caine), previous occupation—you guessed it—magician. What so inevitably starts off as a hate-hate relationship between young paranormal enthusiast Edward and old, embittered and left-in-the-rain by ghosts of the past Clarence however soon blossoms into something a little more reflective and intertwined than any of them would have imagined.

The resulting story is something we've all seen or heard before, but perhaps with enough sombre nuances to render it something a little more cinsightful and uplifting than most of these stories. There's certainly no denying that Is Anybody There, on a purely ostensible, story-wise front does nothing new at all, but through development of these two characters (and others) who are brought to life wonderfully by the cast involved, the feature overcomes its rather tepid and pedestrian plot in favour of offering a subtle but pleasant character drama. Of course, there are issues throughout the feature which undermine all the good that is done throughout (this is most prominently realised in the final act which renders one plot-line through a banal, contrived resolution that directly clashes with the central story that ends on a much more refined note), yet much of these lay in the background, easy to overlook in favour of the movie's much more engrossing and charming elements.

So while at its heart a humble and restrained piece of cinema that doesn't necessarily break any new ground, it is this simplicity and obviously intentional subtlety that makes Is Anybody There a treat rather than a bore; director John Crowley acknowledges that Peter Harness' screenplay isn't one immediately pandering for big reactions from audiences, and he plays to this sense of realism and dignity throughout without sacrificing Harness' themes on life and death that trickle throughout. Make no mistake, you certainly couldn't be blamed for missing a small portion of Is Anybody There's reflections on life, but neither should you miss the rest—instead, Crowley and Harness craft a feature that is simple in its design but larger than life in its messages and inner substance; it may not be perfect, no, but it's got enough humanity in there thanks to the cast to make it worth while, even if you think you've seen these life-affirming rites-of-passage movies before.

- A review by Jamie Robert Ward (

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Is Anybody There? (2008)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why does the DVD artwork make the movie look 30 years old? kbp-25959
Didn't move me. svenrufus
What time frame did this film take place over svenrufus
Predictable dccallag
For those of you in the UK.... boo-7
U.K Television Premier daleshrimp
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